It is safe to say that FZ' backing bands got more session musicianly in the late 70s, particular line can be drawn at the time when Vinnie C was ushered in. That said, I think Buffalo shows that Vinnie was the last FZ drummer to have a more or less acceptable drum sound. Then along came Chad Wackerman, even more of a session musicianly player and with him FZ begun to find the most perfect (to his mind) drum sound possible. Things definitely got a bit too clinical with the later bands. Give me the FZ-O'Hearn-Bozzio power trio rocking it out on "The Ocean" any time over the 1984 band.
Arkay asked me why did I praise the fuzz organ over synthesised horns or marimbas. The answer is simply because the fuzz allows the keyboards to power up, so they no longer are subservient to the guitars. Plus, you can sustain an organ trio if both organ and bass manage to fulfil the same functions as the fuzzy guitars. Early Soft Machine was a classic example. However, the 1984 band clearly sounded thin whenever they attempted to play the complicated written parts, where it was clear that only Thunes, Wackerman and the synth-abusing Zavod with his marimba patches could carry the hard stuff. No guitars or real marimbas alas. Even the earlier six-piece 1980 band has drawn criticism for having only Mars and Barrow carrying the band and the lack of guitars and percussions exposing the sonic thinness of Mars' synth.
Lies are like quicksand, soft and comfortable, but they will swallow us. Truth is like bedrock, hard and uncomfortable, but we can always stand on it